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Immune system markers may predict affective disorder treatment response, but whether an overall immune system marker predicts bipolar disorder treatment effect is unclear.
Bipolar CHOICE (N = 482) and LiTMUS (N = 283) were similar comparative effectiveness trials treating patients with bipolar disorder for 24 weeks with four different treatment arms (standard-dose lithium, quetiapine, moderate-dose lithium plus optimised personalised treatment (OPT) and OPT without lithium). We performed secondary mixed effects linear regression analyses adjusted for age, gender, smoking and body mass index to investigate relationships between pre-treatment white blood cell (WBC) levels and clinical global impression scale (CGI) response.
Compared to participants with WBC counts of 4.5–10 × 109/l, participants with WBC < 4.5 or WBC ≥ 10 showed similar improvement within each specific treatment arm and in gender-stratified analyses.
An overall immune system marker did not predict differential treatment response to four different treatment approaches for bipolar disorder all lasting 24 weeks.
Immunological theories, particularly the sickness syndrome theory, may explain psychopathology in mood disorders. However, no clinical trials have investigated the association between overall immune system markers with a wide range of specific symptoms including potential gender differences.
We included two similar clinical trials, the lithium treatment moderate-dose use study and clinical and health outcomes initiatives in comparative effectiveness for bipolar disorder study, enrolling 765 participants with bipolar disorder. At study entry, white blood cell (WBC) count was measured and psychopathology assessed with the Montgomery and Aasberg depression rating scale (MADRS). We performed analysis of variance and linear regression analyses to investigate the relationship between the deviation from the median WBC, and multinomial regression analysis between different WBC levels. All analyses were performed gender-specific and adjusted for age, body mass index, smoking, race, and somatic diseases.
The overall MADRS score increased significantly for each 1.0×109/l deviation from the median WBC among 322 men (coefficient=1.10; 95% CI=0.32–1.89; p=0.006), but not among 443 women (coefficient=0.56; 95% CI=−0.19–1.31; p=0.14). Among men, WBC deviations were associated with increased severity of sadness, inner tension, reduced sleep, reduced appetite, concentration difficulties, inability to feel, and suicidal thoughts. Among women, WBC deviations were associated with increased severity of reduced appetite, concentration difficulties, lassitude, inability to feel, and pessimistic thoughts. Both higher and lower WBC levels were associated with increased severity of several specific symptoms.
Immune system alterations were associated with increased severity of specific mood symptoms, particularly among men. Our results support the sickness syndrome theory, but furthermore emphasise the relevance to study immune suppression in bipolar disorder. Due to the explorative nature and cross-sectional design, future studies need to confirm these findings.
Little is known about predictors of recovery from bipolar depression.
We investigated affective instability (a pattern of frequent and large mood shifts over time) as a predictor of recovery from episodes of bipolar depression and as a moderator of response to psychosocial treatment for acute depression.
A total of 252 out-patients with DSM-IV bipolar I or II disorder and who were depressed enrolled in the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) and were randomised to one of three types of intensive psychotherapy for depression (n = 141) or a brief psychoeducational intervention (n = 111). All analyses were by intention-to-treat.
Degree of instability of symptoms of depression and mania predicted a lower likelihood of recovery and longer time until recovery, independent of the concurrent effects of symptom severity. Affective instability did not moderate the effects of psychosocial treatment on recovery from depression.
Affective instability may be a clinically relevant characteristic that influences the course of bipolar depression.
To examine the prevalence of the C677T polymorphism of the methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene and the A2756G polymorphism of methionine synthase (MS), and their impact on antidepressant response.
We screened 224 subjects (52% female, mean age 39 ± 11 years) with SCID-diagnosed major depressive disorder (MDD), and obtained 194 genetic samples. 49 subjects (49% female, mean age 36 ± 11 years) participated in a 12-week open clinical trial of fluoxetine 20–60 mg/day. Association between clinical response and C677T and A2756G polymorphisms, folate, B12, and homocysteine was examined.
Prevalence of the C677T and A2756G polymorphisms was consistent with previous reports (C/C = 41%, C/T = 47%, T/T = 11%, A/A = 66%, A/G = 29%, G/G = 4%). In the fluoxetine-treated subsample (n = 49), intent-to-treat (ITT) response rates were 47% for C/C subjects and 46% for pooled C/T and T/T subjects (nonsignificant). ITT response rates were 38% for A/A subjects and 60% for A/G subjects (nonsignificant), with no subjects exhibiting the G/G homozygote. Mean baseline plasma B12 was significantly lower in A/G subjects compared to A/A, but folate and homocysteine levels were not affected by genetic status. Plasma folate was negatively associated with treatment response.
The C677T and A2756G polymorphisms did not significantly affect antidepressant response. These preliminary findings require replication in larger samples.
Psychiatric conditions affect multiple areas of psychosocial functioning, including functioning in the workplace. The purpose of this study was to establish norms for absenteeism (work days missed due to mental or physical illness) and work performance (quality of work performed when at work) for healthy individuals.
We selected 300 individuals without psychiatric or medical conditions from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication study (NCS-R). Absenteeism and work performance were assessed using the NCS-R version of the Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ).
Employees missed an average of 5.1 days of work in the past year. Absenteeism varied across occupations, with performers of routine tasks, office clerks, and professionals exhibiting the greatest variance in days missed. Work performance ratings were skewed toward high performance ratings and did not differ across occupations. Gender, age, race/ethnicity, and education level did not substantially moderate absenteeism and work performance norms.
Skewed ratings for work performance are consistent with previous findings using the HPQ. This may reflect a general tendency that individuals rate themselves favorably when they compare themselves to others.
This study provides normative tables for absenteeism and work performance in individuals without psychiatric or medical conditions, against which individuals with such conditions may be compared.
Objective/Introduction: We sought to characterize the impact of the 90-item Symptom Checklist (SCL-90) subscales for paranoid ideation (PI) and psychoticism (P) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), on acute anti-depressant response and on relapse prevention.
Methods: Subjects with Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders-diagnosed non-psychotic MDD were recruited into a clinical trial of open-label fluoxetine 10–60 mg/day for 12 weeks, followed by double-blind randomization of responders (n=262) to fluoxetine continuation or placebo for 12 months. PI and P were assessed with the patient-rated SCL-90. The association of these symptoms with response to treatment was assessed by logistic regression.
Results: We found significant decreases in PI and P during acute treatment phase for fluoxetine responders and nonresponders, although only 10.3% and 7.5% of patients experienced a ≥50% reduction in PI and P scores, respectively. Neither PI nor P scores significantly predicted time to relapse. P scores predicted a lower response rate to treatment with fluoxetine.
Discussion: The results of the present study suggest that there is a significant relationship between the presence of psychoticism in patients with nonpsychotic MDD, and the likelihood of overall depressive symptom improvement following a trial of monotherapy with fluoxetine.
Conclusion: An increased burden of psychoticism in depressed subjects may confer poorer response to fluoxetine, but not increased risk of relapse among fluoxetine responders.